Commentary | June 29, 2021

The future is here

By David M. Santos, Director of Communications, U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Two hundred and ninety-one young women and men who make up the incoming Class of 2025 arrived at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on June 28 to start their 200-week journey toThe U.S. Coast Guard Academy welcomes two hundred and ninety-one young women and men to the Class of 2025 for Day One, June 28, 2021. Day One marks the start of Swab Summer, an intensive seven-week program that prepares students for military and Academy life. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Cmdr. Krystyn Pecora) become Coast Guard officers. 

Their first day, known as Day One, marked the traditional start of the intense seven-week training program called Swab Summer, which is designed to transform civilian students into military members ready to join the Corps of Cadets.  

The AcadeThe U.S. Coast Guard Academy welcomes two hundred and ninety-one young women and men to the Class of 2025 for Day One, June 28, 2021. Day One marks the start of Swab Summer, an intensive seven-week program that prepares students for military and Academy life. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Thieme)my is continuing its success in diversifying the corps of cadets, with 36% of the class coming from underrepresented minority groups, and 40% women. With the Class of 2025, the Academy welcomed the largest number of Asian American Pacific Islanders in a single incoming class in its history. Also joining the class were eight international students from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Philippines, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan.

On Day One, the Swabs (as the new cadets are called) cycled through a whirlwind of haircuts, uniform issue, drill practice and various administrative in-processing. At the end of the day, the Swabs marched out to the parade field for the Swearing-In Ceremony and posed for a group photo, before saying goodbye to their families and beginning their training.The U.S. Coast Guard Academy welcomes two hundred and ninety-one young women and men to the Class of 2025 for Day One, June 28, 2021. Day One marks the start of Swab Summer, an intensive seven-week program that prepares students for military and Academy life. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by 2/c Greg Sellers) 

Academy Superintendent Rear. Adm. Bill Kelly addressed the incoming class during the ceremony. “I challenge you to fully commit to moving forward together as you begin your training and education. When you move forward together as a class to engage in the rigorous program that lays before you, the transformation that will take place in the 200 weeks will ensure you are ready in all respects to live out our Coast Guard Ethos to protect, defend, save, and shield our nation, its people, and the environment we live in.”

“And as you move out together as one class,” he added, “you will learn what it means to be Semper Paratus – Always Ready. I know I speak for the entire Academy community and the 55,000 women and men of the U.S. Coast Guard when I say, ‘Welcome Aboard!’ We are excited to see all that you will accomplish in the future.”